Dylan Cheema believes a champion’s mentality could lead to the sort of success in boxing that he finds himself uses to.
The switch will occur at the H Suite in Edgbaston, Birmingham, this weekend during a double-header of shows staged by BCB Promotions, with Cheema in action on Sunday.
He transitions from kickboxing, as a decorated two-weight world champion at lightweight and super lightweight, the higher of which has become his preferred division.
His love for boxing grew when he shared a training ring with the likes of Louis Fielding, Luke Jones and Kane Baker, who have all challenged for or held titles in the sport.
After reaching a decision that change was afoot, Cheema took Paul ‘PJ’ Rowson as his manager and turned to a team that know the path required.
Richard Waller, Simon Akufo-Tetteh and Baggi Singh will work his corner, a trio with a long and storied track record in kickboxing themselves.
Cheema has also seen, at first-hand, how ability can transcend the two codes, after significant amounts of sparring spent with Brad Foster, another former kickboxer.
They have gone through their paces for Foster’s last three fight camps, in which he’s defended the British super bantamweight title and vied for the European crown.
Cheema has completed a championship distance, on multiple occasions, himself and reckons his nous for combat will stand him in good stead.
The 25-year-old, who works full-time as a manager for a cash and carry company, is ready to put the work in and ensure further glories are within reach.
He said: “We started the process to get me into pro boxing last year and now it’s finally here. I’ve trained all the way through and good sparring plays into my corner.
“I’ve known Brad since we were kids, he started in kickboxing, like me, and it just goes to show what can be done, when you have the talent.
“I’ve been a sparring partner for his last three fight camps, he may be smaller than me but there’s so much that I’ve picked up about boxing from him. I couldn’t have asked for better.
“When I was kickboxing, I was always told that my boxing skills were at an elite level. We also brought in professional boxers, for sparring, and my interest grew from there.
“I’m from Coventry, but I’m always in Birmingham as that’s where my team and the gym are based. I live in Berkswell, but I grew up in Tile Hill.
“I’m from a family of shopkeepers, so I’ve been working since I was 14 and I started kickboxing when I was 10. I had over 100 amateur fights, then 13 as a pro.
“I won everything there was to win in kickboxing with Midlands, English, British, European and then two world titles so, in boxing, my first goal will be the Midlands title!
“I’ve been in a world title unification fight, which was a big occasion, so I’ve felt pressure before and got myself through it. I lost that one, on points, but I kept going.
“In my last year of kickboxing, I did 12 rounds four times and two of those were within six months of each other. They are two-minute rounds, but I know what that distance entails.
“There’s nothing quite like having to plan out 12 rounds in your head and that’s the sort of experience I can take into boxing. Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to do it again!”
Tickets for the two Birmingham bills are still available, priced at £40 standard or £75 VIP ringside with buffet per day, directly from the boxers or by visiting myfighttickets.com.